Sunday, February 12, 2012

Flight of the rings

As its the month of ring billed gulls I will now write yet another post about them. Perhaps I have some sort of ring billed gull stalker problem because these guys seem to show up just about anywhere. There is the Atlantic pond ring bill (Dell), the Gate cinema ring bill and the bird below is a ring bill I found across from the bus station. It is of course entirely possible that the later bird is the same individual scouting up and down the river but no matter.

As is the habit of ring bills, this one only stuck around for a few minutes, preferring to pursue the flocks of screaming black heads rather then show up for food directly (turns out gulls really like bits of leftover plaice, who knew!). Got some half decent flight shots.

Also some more shots of the Atlantic pond ring bill. Probably the same individual as before though its hard to say.

In other news I spotted my old friends the peregrines again, first I saw one sitting on a radio antennae (or something of the kind) by city hall and then a few minutes later I saw it first capturing a pigeon in mid air and then dragging it down with great effort to a nearby rooftop all the while being chased by both the other peregrine and a group of screaming gulls. Next the still alive pigeon continued to struggle for a couple of minutes with one of the peregrine’ s talons holding its wing firmly. The kill soon followed and the other peregrine started screaming at it for a portion. The pictures below, while hardly of super quality do quite nicely tell the story. Got to love bird theatre!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Iceland gulls coming to a theatre near you!

Lately 3 Iceland gulls have been visiting the Gate cinema area of Cork city. Which just so happens to be a stone’s throw from my house. The weather and lighting hasn’t generally been great but I nevertheless managed some acceptable shots. 2 of the Icelands seem to have since moved on but one, the large adult has remained in more or less the same area for over a week now.

The non adult dropped in only briefly and quickly returned to his rooftop perch, no matter, the other two where willing to stick around.

Iceland number 2, now also absent seemed to prefer staying on the water with the black headed gulls rather then perching overhead on the street lights.

Number 3, still seems to be frequenting the area, seemingly he prefers staying overhead on the overhead lights but occasionally he comes down and swoops out over the river when one of the regular bread feeders come along. Since it only gives about a 30 second window before returning to its perch it is actually quite hard to capture with the camera.

A surprise adult ring billed gull showed up for a few minutes. I had never seen one this far from the docks before. It’s not the same bird I found at the Atlantic pond since this one had bright yellow legs instead of greenish.